Prevalence and severity of airway obstruction in an Italian adult population
AbstractBackground. This study sets out to estimate the prevalence and the degree of severity of bronchial obstruction in an adult population with three different diagnostic criteria: the European Respiratory Society (ERS), the American Thoracic Society (ATS), and the World Health Organization (WHO) defined as Global Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). Methods. 1514 subjects underwent complete medical evaluation and spirometry. Results. The prevalence of bronchial obstruction was respectively 27.5% (ERS), 33% (GOLD), and 47.3% (ATS). The prevalence of bronchial obstruction in the smoker group was 33.4% (ERS), 38.1% (GOLD), and 52.3% (ATS). The prevalence of obstruction in the ex-smoker group was 33% (ERS), 41.4% (GOLD), and 57.1% (ATS). The prevalence of obstruction in the non-smoker group was 21.1% (ERS), 24.9% (GOLD), and 38.6% (ATS). Conclusions. The results show that the prevalence of airway obstruction increases proportionally with age; the cigarette smoking represents an important conditioning factor. These observations warrant the necessity of a more complete and multi-parametric analysis in the evaluation of patients with airway obstruction using methodologies that explore the functional state and the risk factors that cause the airway obstruction.
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